Parish and Van Dyk vie for the Royal Crown

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Monthly Medal Mug sponsor Bill Jones & Bailey congratulate Frank Xin.
Monthly Medal Mug sponsor Bill Jones & Bailey congratulate Frank Xin.

PSC Golf from Tropical Golf Group

Tuesday, August 28 Royal Lakeside – St

As seems to be a regular occurrence of late, a week after playing at Bangpakong Riverside we are headed back to the area for a day out at Royal Lakeside. No matter, all good as these two courses are consistently in fantastic condition and a joy to play. So with one of the regular organizers traveling and the other in the sick bed, it was up to our faithful stand-in Brian to handle the group this day.

After several rounds at these two Bangpakong River area courses, where the scoring is always on the high side, we had decided to give the “Blue” tees a shot at both and see how the Tropical Golfers faired at the longer distances. Last week at BRCC they did well with a couple beating their handicap and several closely following. Just how would they fair this week at a course they demolished in Medal play last month with all podium finishers scoring between net 64 and net 68! On the card the “Blues” here are 400 yards longer than the “Whites”, so off we went to test our golfing skills and course management.

As usual the course was presented in excellent condition; good grass under the ball in the fairways, maintained bunkers, and greens running true at a reasonable speed. It was decided to play ‘Lift, Clean, & Place” due to a bit of light rain as play started and better to be safe than sorry this time of the year. However, the shower quickly dissipated and, under intermittent clouds along with a slight breeze, the weather was perfect.

The pace of play was a bit on the slow side as a 6 – Ball had teed off before our groups; however, since most of our group were walking, what ended up being a 5 hours round was not all that bad. After all we did have to walk further back to the Blues just to get each hole started. On top of that it seemed the grounds crew had placed the Blue markers about as far back as they could on this day! Several holes that on the card should have been 15 – 20 yards longer were definitely 30 – 40 yards longer, so a long course longer, but with all playing off their calculated Course Handicap, would the group or the course win the day.

Round over, showered, cards collected, and back to Pattaya to the friendly confines of “The BJ Holiday Lodge” for a bite and a sip and the presentation. Count-backs were the order for the day for all the podium steps: finishing with 30 points, John Davis (12) edged out Walter Baechli for 5th place followed by Mashi Kaneta (16) over John Pierrel (13) for 3rd and 4th, both on 31 points.

For the top spot the count-back on 34 points had to go to “hole-by-hole” from the 18th down to the 15th to determine the winner. Getting edged out by the slimmest of margins was Andre Van Dyk (17) for 2nd place behind the winner on the day, Brian Parish (13).

Have to say the course was the winner this day off the Blues; however, congratulations to all for standing up to the challenges the longer course at Royal Lakeside had to offer. We shall return.

Friday, August 31 Crystal Bay B/C – Medal

Always one of the highlights for the Tropical Golfers, the Monthly Medal Mug is up for grabs. It’s easy to grab because it’s a nice mug with a big handle, but hard to win. This Friday fifteen golfers decided to give it a try… some for their first trophy, others hoping for bookends or a full collection. Forgiving Crystal Bay was on the agenda, giving everyone a good shot.

Assigned the B + C nines (will A ever re-open?), we were able to tee off a bit early in breezy conditions. The course was in overall good condition given the price. A bit weedy in places, but playable.

One thing that confused many golfers was the quite slick and sloped B-side greens, and just as we were getting used to it, the C-side did an about-face and went to quite slow. Well, proper golfers don’t complain but just accept what the course hands you and tend to business. Stableford scores usually tend to be a bit high at CB, but today the stroke competition tempered things, as it usually does.

Results: The only one to break handicap, and winning his first Monthly Mug, Frank Xin (h/c 26) took proud honors with his net 68. Beverages do taste better when sipped (or gulped) from The Mug, right Frank?

Next, Takeshi Hakozaki (12) used his home course knowledge to win a multi-countback at net 73 over John Davis (10) and Paul Sharples (15). John Pierrel (11) was next in line with net 75, and Brian Parish (11) was surprised to get the final mention with a good enough net 78. Cheers!